My knowledge of sound signals was a bit “foggy”
Three days of my Yachtmaster course are now in the bag. I am continuing to work hard, both in class and at home, so that when it comes time to take the exam, I will, to borrow some jiu-jitsu terminology, tap it out easily.
The tidal calculations we have been learning are mind numbing and the chart plotting laborious. I routinely fall into the same troubles that have plagued me since early grade school. That being, I think and write too fast, failing to check simple pieces of information which ultimately net me the wrong answer. Groan… I really need to work on that. After all that tedious stuff, it’s a welcome change for me to spend some time on simple memory work and yesterday’s memorization “homework” was the Collision Regulations Sound Signals for Restricted Visibility.
For those of us who don’t typically sail in fog, the system for signaling your presence and intentions by sound may seem overdone. There are however places where, at certain times of the year, fog is very common and it can last for days.
Signals by horns I was aware of. I also knew that many ships carried Bells (even we have one thanks to our friend Mike) although I didn’t until yesterday know their proper usage. The new one for me was the use of a Gong by vessels over 100m in length! Being in a fogged-in port must sound like a real symphony with all the bells, horns and gongs going off.
Did you know that a vessel over 100m in length, in restricted visibility, that has gone aground should ring a Bell in forepart, 3 strokes followed by rapid ringing for about 5 seconds, followed by 3 more strokes, followed by striking the Gong in afterpart of the vessel for about 5 seconds? Perhaps all that ringing is to signal that the Captain of that vessel will be looking for a new job?